Food transformations and (un)sustainable diets: Taking consumption seriously in development research

By Arve Hansen

The world is in dire need of more sustainable and healthy food systems. The development field has much to say on the topic but has historically had a clear focus on either food supply or food deprivation. The potential benefits and positive spill-over effects of eating healthier and more sustainably have, however, led to increasing and wider attention to the demand side of food. Recent research suggests that the sustainability potential of dietary change is considerably larger than that of improving production. If we could just change what people eat, and at the same time avoid some of the ongoing nutrition transitions in low- and middle-income countries, it would have a massive ripple effect in entire food systems.

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The Legitimacy of Sustainability Initiatives in Tanzania 

By Rasul Ahmed Minja

One of the chief concerns of new sustainability initiatives for managing natural resources and involving public and private actors is to build and retain legitimacy among different audiences and stakeholders, legitimacy understood as the ‘process where partnerships gain recognition and become accepted as a relevant alternative or supplement to government policy on a particular issue’. But how can we better understand the legitimacy of sustainability partnerships from the perspective of local communities? Or, more precisely, how do different sustainability partnerships develop, gain (or fail to gain), and manage legitimacy in local communities? What kinds of legitimacy do they seek and how? And which paths for building and maintaining legitimacy yield what kinds of perceived conservation and socio-economic outcomes?

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